As a hip youth in contemporary America, I am “with it.” I enjoy Kendrick Lamar. I think Chance the Rapper is a cool guy. Senator Elizabeth Warren both inspires me and makes me very hungry — though I think that second thing may be unrelated — I will look into that. Like many modern millennials, I have recently found myself attending a number of political gatherings throughout the greater Washington metropolitan area. People are angry, and they want me to be angry too. And to that I say, “AGGGHHHHHIIIIIAAMMMANGRRYYY,” as well.
Protests are vitally important, especially in times when our civil liberties are being trampled upon or threatened. That being said, they can be very confusing. Although most individuals join political gatherings for good and worthy causes, I am often there simply because I find the protestors’ rhythmic chanting oddly charming.
To compound my confusion, there are often many signs. These signs are usually vague and offer very little direction or instruction. “This is what democracy looks like!” is less a directive, and more a meditation on an individual’s present surroundings. So, in light of my confusion, I have produced a few useful protest tips.
Note: This is not an endorsement of protest. I will always advocate for one key approach to life: conformity. CONFORM, CONFORM, CONFORM. If you do not join, you risk being trampled. You may even find yourself standing sign-less in a growing, growling mass of individuals. Suddenly, they are stamping their hooves and exhaling through their distended nostrils. Next thing you know, everyone has decided to make a charge for the river — actually, I am thinking of water buffalo. Do NOT attend a protest of water buffalo. Attend a protest of people. But, I digress — here are my protest tips!
Protest Tip #1: People love rhymes!
Rhymes: dancing, but for words. From “peace in the Middle East” to “yeast in the Middle East,” — copyright, Damascus Bread Co., 1968 — rhymes are a catchy and effective way to spread a message. So, before attending a protest, take time to jot down some fun protest rhymes. Here are a few you can steal if you are in need!
“U.S. out of the Midwest!” Useful in the event that we need to occupy Minneapolis or Des Moines.
“Don’t be a bone, let Beyoncé come home!” Just in case the United States government deports Beyoncé for ties to North Korea — it could happen.
“Don’t get slappy, save my pappy!” One of my favorites, this chant assumes that the American government has introduced a slap-based corporal punishment system and that my father has somehow become entangled with some sort of criminal misdoing. I will keep you updated, but this could become very useful one day.
Protest Tip #2: A protest does not substitute for cardiovascular exercise.
A march may sound like a great place to get out and do some light cardio, but this is decidedly not the case. Although I typically associate hundreds of brightly dressed individuals meeting in a park with a mass yoga session or community-wide dance class, a protest is more or less the opposite of those things. The protest is primarily a chanting affair. Jogging or running will likely be associated with tear gas; A simple rule for tear gas that I like to keep in mind is: “Police like tear gas, people do not like tear gas.” This can be remembered with the fun rhyme: “You have tear gas, oh? Well, let me say, I — OUCH, MY FACE, MY EYES, MY EVERYTHING, DEAR GOD.”
Protest Tip #3: Hats!
With the introduction of the pussyhat at the Women’s March on Washington, hats have reentered the fray as potent protest tools. This is delightful news for hat enthusiasts. However, it is important that you consider what hat you will be wearing for a protest. A pussyhat is very useful for a women’s march but maybe less so for a feline-phobia awareness event. Keep these tips in mind as you select your politically motivated headgear.
I hope you have found these protest tips helpful. And remember: I can always be contacted for more advice. On that note, I sign off. Happy chanting and happy marching! To advocacy and beyond!
Alex Mitchell is a junior in the College. HIGH-FUNCTIONING FAILURE appears every other Friday.